Picture a Saint: Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Photo by JIm DeHarpporte/CRS

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Editor’s Note: The following passages don’t come from standard collections of Mother Teresa quotes, but instead from addresses retained in the CRS archives. Some she made specifically to CRS staff. Others were given during events that CRS was privileged to attend.

The photos also come from CRS archives, including photos from our interactions with Mother Teresa in the field and in the office, along with photos of recent CRS work that embody the thoughts she shared with us.


“Today also, Christ is really hungry—hungry for bread, hungry for love. He never mentioned that he was hungry for bread only, but more and more you see wherever you go—wherever I go—we find that people are really hungry for love.” Photo by CRS Staff


Recalling the words of a lonely elderly couple she met, “‘We have forgotten what is a human sound, we have forgotten what is human touch. We don’t need material things; we have everything but we have forgotten that.’” Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS


“Smile at each other, make time for each other, enjoy each other.” Photo by CRS Staff


“This is something that you and I must understand—that love begins at home; love begins in our own community.” Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS


“Our vocation is to belong to Jesus. And the work that we do—the work that you do in the office—is only our means to put our love for God into living action. That is why our work has the ability of sanctifying us, because it is our love for God in living action.” Photo by CRS Staff


“Together, we are doing something beautiful for God, and this is the greatness of God’s love for us—to give us the opportunity to become holy through the works of love that we do, because holiness is not the luxury of the few.” Photo by CRS Staff


“You are sharing through you, through your hands, what God is proving to the world—that he loves the world and through you, he keeps on giving Jesus to the world.” Photo by Jim DeHarpporte/CRS


“It is not how much we do, but how much we put into action, that matters to Almighty God.” Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS


“This priest was in charge of our Catholic Relief Services [team] working in Calcutta at that time. He brought the money … given to him to offer holy Mass, and instead of using it for himself, gave it to us. And with this gift, we bought the first ambulance that we used in Calcutta to carry the sick and the dying, to carry food for our people, as a mobile clinic among the lepers.”  Photo by CRS staff


“I think this is what Catholic Relief Services has been doing all these years. I think God has used them to make that contact, to bring that … wonderful sign of love and friendship, of sharing. And I think this is what we have come to do.”  Photo by Catianne Tijerina for CRS


“We picked up this man from the street, completely drunk. We put him in an ambulance and took him to our place ... About one week after, he told the sister, ‘Sister, I am going home and I will never touch drink again.’ The sister said, ‘What has happened?’ He said, ‘The way you touched me, the way you loved me, the way you took care of me … Suddenly I realize God loves me.’ After nearly 16 years, he went home. After about 5 months he came back and he brought his first salary and he told the sisters, ‘Sisters, kindly accept this money to do to others what you have done for me.’ And he has never touched any drink again.” Note: The man Mother Teresa describes is not the patient shown here. Photo by CRS Staff


“The joy and the happiness these people feel—it is you who shared in it! It is through the help I received from Catholic Relief Services that has enabled me to bring so much happiness to so many people.” Photo by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for CRS


“Your hands are feeding the hungry Christ, your hands are clothing the naked Christ, your hands are giving home to the homeless Christ.” Photo by CRS Staff


“I need the people themselves to come to the people, to come to the poor, that the poor may see they are loved.” Photo by Charlie David Martinez for CRS


“Do your work well, and do it with great love.” Photo by CRS Staff